London is home to one of the most exciting food scenes in the world and the Scandinavian cuisine is (like all things Scandi) sizzling among those in the know. This spring it got that little bit extra hot when Swedish top chef Malin Söderström guest-starred at the ever so popular Stockholm Restaurant & Deli in East Sheen, run by Göran Landh and Majvor Darnton!
Swedish chef Malin Söderström has got an impressing résumé. The first woman on the Swedish National Culinary Team, she has been cooking delicious food on Swedish TV while managing to author nine cookbooks in ten years. Söderström began her professional career at the Stockholm based restaurant Paul & Norbert. During her time there, the restaurant was rewarded with a star in the prestigious Michelin Guide. Today, Malin is managing the restaurant in the Modern Museum in Stockholm, where she has been working for the last eleven years.
"It’s incredibly fun and a lot happens there. It’s a dynamic environment, and the food is adapted to the exhibitions. Also, my knowledge about contemporary art is growing there", she told The LINK.
As an entrepreneur, Malin is also a co-partner at Restaurang Hjerta, located on Skeppsholmen in central Stockholm. It’s more of a summer and event salon and due to the location and environment, the restaurant smokes a lot of their food. This summer, Hjerta will be serving herrings on their pizzas, something that is new at least for the LINK.
"It’s suitable for this environment. We adapt the food according to season and when it’s not summer, we’re usually holding different events in the restaurant. Not long ago, we had a 1500s theme", Söderström says.
The background to the cooperation with Stockholm Restaurant & Deli was the possibility of exchanging expertise and knowledge.
"I have known Göran Landh, who runs Stockholm Deli, for a long time. I have new projects planned in Stockholm this spring, where I will take over the operation of two archipelago boats. This is something that Göran has experience from, and we both thought that we could learn from each other", Söderström says.
Cooking food in a country and environment that you’re not familiar with might complicate the process even for the cleverest chef.
"One easily becomes blind to the process and assume that the equipment is the same all over the world. That is not the case. When I was in the United States, I was completely confused by the equipment they were using. It differed so much from what I was used to. But then I find it very exciting to cook with other chefs from other countries. The experience of cooking with new chefs is always fruitful", Söderström explains.
Recent exposure to the British food scene had caught Söderström asking for more. Malin had from the British food culture really caught her asking for more. That was another reason why she came to London this spring; to enjoy what the country had to offer foodwise.
"I have always had problems with understanding London and the food being served there. But not long ago I visited with my family; three generations of women, and it made me see London with completely different eyes. I was absolutely stunned by the city and I experienced fantastic food there. London truly has got everything; Indian, Japanese, gastro pubs and much more", Söderström says.
However, she does not have a favourite meal as such.
"It really depends on what the purpose of the dinner is. I appreciate food and the whole dinner process very much. I also like conscious, straight and honest food, and don’t want it to be too contrived. I would rather eat a fresh fried herring than a badly cooked lobster", Malin says.
As the owner of Stockholm Restaurant & Deli, Göran Landh was delighted with the great feedback they received from new as well as frequent visitors.
"The menu was a huge success and they all seemed to like that it was different to what they had ever tried. Some of our loyal customers said afterwards that we always have amazing food, but they appreciated something new", Landh told The LINK.
Malin likes to cook Swedish and Scandinavian food, and to mix ingredients, which was visible throughout the menu.
"Some of the ingredients were sourced locally and some were brought from Sweden by Malin. The menu was very diverse but we cooked a lot of seafood. Also, much of our food was smoked and everything was cooked at a low temperature", says Landh.
"We got such good feedback on the food we served that we decided to keep some of it in our ordinary menu. The Archipelago Plate was especially popular and is now available for catering".
Over all, the guest play by Malin Söderström at one of Londons's most loved Scandinavian restaurants was a huge success and Stockholm Deli is already planning for more exciting future projects. Watch this space!